I was standing near the bridge when everything came to a blunt stillness.
All of a sudden the world stops revolving. The hand of the clock seems to work too slow and people stop dead in their tracks. Then, there’s a complete silence. The deafening silence of the city seems to be so unfamiliar and alarming to me. To everyone. My heart starts to beat so fast I thought it would come out of my body. And somehow, in between all of this, I am suddenly in total awe of how a loud screechy crash, that one loud thump from two smashed cars can make everyone feel that they are part of this world. That we are part of everyone else.
People started to move, their minds working again- realizing what happened. And before you could take a glimpse of what really happened, the crowd had started milling around the accident, attempting to know the story behind it. It is now that someone is in danger that they want to take part of everything- eager to know everything about it when they don’t even know their names or if they even have a pet they left in their homes. But, if some were all business about it, some are just walking past it, gradually eavesdropping, then leaves the subject behind because well, it is not their business to mind at all. They think there is more to life than someone else’s life in danger.
Squeezing myself in the growing crowd until I am in the exact place where the two cars collided, I suddenly feel so glum I feel nauseated. I abruptly want to step back and become one of those persons who thinks that there is more to life than someone else’s life in danger. People were also too stunned to take actions or even call an ambulance. Blood. There’s blood everywhere. The two cars were a total wrecked. The impact of their collision is visible enough that both dash panels of the cars are barely recognizable because the blue car almost got it’s half body inside the silver car. Shattered pieces of glass with smears of blood from the persons inside of it are scattered everywhere. Looking at the entire scene was like looking at an action movie- bewilderment with a mix of anticipation of what will happen next. Of what will happen after everything. But, only this is real. There are no cameras to capture the scene, no lights to emphasize certain part and most especially, no directors to say cut. Time’s up. Good take or not.
I cringed at the thought of being there. Being dead. I just can’t imagine how in just a blink of an eye, everything will vanished. I wonder if the persons inside the two cars have plans ahead of this, I mean we all do have plans ahead of our day. I mean plans that you can’t wait to do. Events that’ll mark your career. Day that will change your life forever. And I even wonder if it occur to us the thought about our time running out, scared enough of it to make every day as our last. If for a second, stepping out of our house might be the end of everything.
Out of nowhere, a loud thump silence all the people’s hush voices. Even my own reverie.
Just when everybody predicts that there’s no other way someone could survive this horrible accident, a hoarse cry suddenly rise up from the blue car. It’s agonizing enough that from where I stood, I could actually feel the pain she is suffering right now. The ambulance, which I haven’t heard coming, make their way through the crowd as they approach the scene. Reporters from different channels came in trying to get information from different people standing around the accident.
I silently watched as the paramedics try to get their way into the blue car. Visible creases in their foreheads show that this might be a one tough day for them. After hastily removing the doors of the car, one of them slipped inside the car to look for survivors. The lady inside the car, sitting in the passenger’s seat was crying and screaming loudly that people around her squinch as they try to get her. As they put her in the stretcher carefully, I finally understood what she was trying to say. She was calling her baby. She wails while the paramedics strap her cautiously and I’m surprise they didn’t try to shout at the lady to be calm. Seeing how helpless she looks, how she can even manage to look for her child even if she’s covered with blood and bruises, my heart constricts. There’s this lump in my throat I can’t get out of my system because I’m afraid the only way to this problem are tears. I suddenly have this urge to hug and mourn with her. To tell her everything would be fine even if it’s just a lie. How can we be fine if we lost things and persons that keep us sane? That keep us moving? And why all these things have to happen to somebody?
I can see the tears streaming down her face as they carry her inside the ambulance. People around the accident couldn’t keep the pity in their eyes, the regret and how it must have been hard for someone to be in this kind of this situation when you just expect this as any other kind of day you’ve ever had. Just when they were putting her inside the elevator, a miracle happened.
A cry from a baby.
I guess we all look like all the fathers hearing their first child cry- teary. A tear escape from my eye as the paramedics look astonishingly at one another. The lady couldn’t help but cry as she heard her child respond to her yells and silent calling. Other paramedics approach the car and saw that the baby was in the backseat, miraculously lying on the floor. Gasps suddenly escape from the crowd as one of the paramedics get the child and saw that the baby is safe- with no bruises at all. I don’t know what’s going in my mind when I suddenly look up in the sky with a bit of smile forming on my face. I guess that life, no matter how bad a day may become, there are still good things that are destined to happen. The crowd applauded as the mother and her child reunited. I couldn’t help but smile, like really smile at the thought of having someone to hold on to when you’re in your darkest times. I know that somehow, someday this lady would finally get through this because she has someone to hold on to. The reason to keep her moving.
People started to walk away as they heard the paramedics claimed that there are no more survivors left. As they walk away, authorities started to remove the blue car followed by the silver car. I saw and heard one of the paramedics sigh as he rubs the back of his neck with complete disappointment in his face. I heard him say that the person inside the silver car was the most damaged out of all the four persons they retrieved. They can’t even recognize the face of that person, who as they said, was sitting at the driver’s seat.
I started to walk away too.
But, it’s like I’m tied to where I am standing that I couldn’t move. It’s like something is missing and I need to know what and where it is. I started to panic. I kept darting my eyes in every direction hoping to find some clue. I hate this feeling. Like you know something and it’s hanging in the tip of your tongue and it wouldn’t give in if you don’t give enough patience and perseverance.
And that’s when I saw her. The driver of the silver car. They are right, she is barely recognizable because of how devastated she looked. She was covered in her own blood and her body is twisted in an awful angle. The paremedics try their best not to look at it because how can you take looking at a dead body like that knowing you can carry it in your dreams? I look away too. They prepared a black bag, the sized of a person, and put her inside of it. I tried to get a glimpse of her- long brown hair, slender body and fair complexion. She looks like a teenager. Does she have a family? Do they even know that their daughter was dead? Did the girl try to kiss her parents and tell them how much thankful she was for having them? Is she even a nice girl?
I clutched my necklace trying to get some support. And that’s when I saw the girl’s hand. She’s clutching something in her neck like she’s holding in it too.
The world before me started to get fuzzy, muffled voices of people started to buzz my ears. The ground started to shake that I suddenly went limp and kneeled down to where I am standing awhile ago.
I was standing near the bridge when everything came to a blunt stillness.
I was sitting in my car when all of my dreams, in a blink of an eye, vanish into thin air.